ALGOP Comments on SCOTUS Striking Down Pre-Clearance Formula

Supreme CourtBirmingham, AL – In a historic 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, challenged in federal court by Alabama’s Shelby County. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing the majority opinion on the case, wrote, “Section 4’s formula is unconstitutional in light of current conditions.”

Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, renewed in 2006, was based on voter registration numbers and other data from 1965. The 1965 numbers showed a 50% discrepancy between registration of blacks and whites, while the numbers used in 2006 showed the numbers to be essentially equal.

Justice Roberts’ majority opinion allowed the Voting Rights Act to stand, but sent Section 4 to Congress to be rewritten. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, known as the pre-clearance section, is enforced based on the formula set forth in Section 4.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to rule Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional:

“The Supreme Court’s decision today to rule Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act Unconstitutional is a testament to how far we have come as a state and as a nation in the area of fair and free elections. Attorney General Eric Holder should not have the power to play political games with the voting laws in Alabama and thanks to the courage of Shelby County; he no longer has that power. ”

“Minority voting in Alabama has been higher in years past than in some areas that weren’t subject to pre-clearance. That goes to show that Alabama has come a long way since 1965 and as a result deserves better treatment than it has been given for nearly 50 years” said Armistead.



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